Monday 16 January 2012

Debunking the "Little Red Riding Hood" Myth

The Story

When I first told my mother I fed raw to my dogs, as internally they were wolves, her instant reaction was to tell me to keep my pets away from small children and babies as they might be tempted to eat them. A number of other people have expressed the same worry.
This worry has been extrapolated from the story of Little Red Riding Hood, as there is not 1 documented wolf attack on record that was un-provoked.
The story of Little Red Riding Hood is not about weir-wolves or even about the dangers of wolves, it is in fact about the dangers of Rabies.
Think of it this way, a little girl gets taught to use a safe path to go visit her grandmother, on the way sees a rabid dog, but remains safe, gets to granny's who's been bitten by the rabid dog & tries to bite her (looking for all the world like granny gone mad).
That is much more logical and likely than the fairytale and a good lesson for children, unfortunately its lesson has been twisted over the years.

The Science Bit

It has been shown that animals fed a raw diet are gentler than those on a cooked one, due to the higher accessability of nutrients needed to control the Amygdala (the area of the brain responsible for aggression).

Saturday 14 January 2012

Starch, malabsorption & bloat

Ever wondered why dogs get bloat? It's the Starch in their diet!

Most pet foods are grain based, even gluten free ones are either based on rice or potato.
These are very high in starch content. Amylase is what is needed to digest starch. Dogs do not produce amylase in their saliva, and only produce a very small amount from their pancreas.
The starch lines the stomach wall, having a negative effect on the pH of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach reducing the dogs ability to digest food. The only way starch can be broken down other than the very small amounts of amylase produced by the pancreas is via microbial fermentation in the gut.
This fermentation process produces large quantities of gases, which promote bloat & further reduces the ability of the dog to digest other food ingested.

Therefore the answer is simple, if you don't want to risk bloat, don't feed starch.